Category Archives: Events

International Friendship Festival 2016

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20161127_132816Thank you to everyone who came to the International Friendship Festival on November 27!

And an extra special thank you to everyone who volunteered at the festival! This year, we had a number of JETs participate in the festival by running booths, performing on stage, and helping out with general (but necessary and hugely appreciated!) volunteer work.

If you missed it this year, please consider volunteering or attending next year! 😉

Here are some photos from the event.

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Event – International Friendship Festival

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Hey, everyone!

This Sunday, November 27 is the International Friendship Festival!international-friendship-festival-color-flyer

If you have free time and happen to be in the area, please stop by! Several JETs will be participating in the festival and they would surely love your support. There will be booth exhibits, a bazaar, a world gourmet food corner, a cultural exchange corner, stage performances, tea tasting, kimono dress up, and more! There will also be a stamp rally with prizes.

The festival will be held at Hotel Eminence ( in Mashiki from 11:00 to 16:00. The event is free to attend, but bring some money for food and shopping.

Click here to see the event program flyer (in Japanese).

This is a good chance to connect with the international community within Kumamoto Prefecture.
Hope to see you there!

Oh, and maybe bring a rain jacket…!

Event – Mizuakari Festival

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Still looking for something to do for the three-day weekend coming up?

Come see some beautiful handmade lanterns in Kumamoto City! There will be bamboo and paper lanterns all around the Hanabatacho area of the city and near Kumamoto Castle.

mizuakari-festival-imageOctober 8 (Sat.), 18:00 – 22:00
October 9 (Sun.), 18:00 – 21:00

Hanabata Park
Near the statue of Kato Kiyomasa (across from the International Center)
Near Johsaien
Ninomaru Park
Kato Shrine

Click here for more information about the festival (Japanese only).

2016 Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp for ES Students

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The second annual Elementary School Higokko Wakuwaku English Camp was held on Saturday, October 1. Elementary school students from all over the prefecture came to Hotel Terrsa in Kumamoto City to participate in the camp. Together with Kumamoto ALTs, the students enjoyed a full day of English communication and cultural exchange!

There was also a special guest this year… Kumamon!

Here are a bunch of photos from the camp. Take a look!















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Leavers’ Meeting 2016 Photos

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At long last, the photos from the Leavers’ Meeting are here!

Thank you to everyone who attended, thank you to the presenters, and thank you to our special guests, Governor Kabashima and Kumamon!

Hopefully the Leavers’ Meeting was beneficial to all those who attended. We hope that all those who left this past summer are enjoying their new, post-JET lives, wherever that may be! Best of luck to all! 🙂

If you would like to review some of the information for non-reappointing JETs, please visit the guide.

2016 Leavers' Meeting 1

2016 Leavers' Meeting 2

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Summer 2016 Fireworks

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Here is a listing of scheduled fireworks events in Kumamoto this summer. As always, please confirm the event information beforehand as schedules are subject to change. While it highlights some of the bigger events in Kumamoto, ask around for smaller fireworks events in your area!

Much of this information is from WalkerJalan (2) and Jourdan. You can check out their websites for the latest information (Japanese only).

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JLPT: July 2016

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If you are studying Japanese and would like to test your Japanese proficiency, look no further than the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test). The first test in 2016 will be held on Sunday, July 3rd, and the application period has already began. Those interested in taking the test have until April 28th to register. Registration is available both online and by mail, and costs 5,500 yen. For more information about the application process and the test itself, please visit the official JLPT website.

Pro Baseball in Kumamoto

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There will be two Japanese professional baseball games in Kumamoto in April and tickets are still available for both. This is a great chance to experience a Japanese baseball game in person. Both games will take place at Fujisaki Baseball Stadium (near Ninomaru Park) in Kumamoto City. For most people it is easiest to buy tickets from ticket machines at Lawson or 7-11, but there are some online services available as well (please consult the event websites for details).

eh_hawks2016_1Game 1: Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks vs. Orix Buffaloes

Sunday, April 10 – Game starts at 1PM (Gates open at 11AM)

Ticket Prices

  • 1,800 yen for unreserved seats in the outfield (700 yen for children).
  • 4,500 yen for reserved middle of infield seats.
  • 5,500 yen for reserved infield and behind-the-plate seats.
  • Day-of tickets will cost 200 yen more for unreserved seats and 500 yen for all other seats.

Event Website:

160119_giant.jpgGame 2: Tokyo Yomiuri Giants vs. Chunichi Dragons

Tuesday, April 19 – Game starts at 6PM (Gates open at 4PM)

Ticket Prices

  • 1,200 yen for unreserved seats in the outfield (600 yen for children).
  • 4,500 yen for reserved middle of infield seats.
  • 5,500 yen for reserved infield seats.
  • 5,700 yen for reserved behind-the-plate seats.

Event Website:

Night Cherry Blossom Viewing at Kumamoto Castle

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Kumamoto Castle will be open at night from Saturday, March 19 to Sunday, April 3 for night viewing of the cherry blossoms around the castle. Kumamoto Castle and the surrounding area boasts around 800 cherry blossom trees (with 650 of them being the famous Yoshino cherry trees).

The castle will extend its opening hours from 6PM to 9PM. There is a reduced entry fee for entering the castle after 5PM: 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for elementary/junior high school children. Kumamoto City elementary/junior high school children and people over 65 can enter for free.

For reference, the cherry blossoms in Kumamoto are expected to open on Wednesday, March 23 with full bloom around Saturday, April 2.